This is hot off the presses. The story is a dentist put up a billboard ad across from a daycare. The ad photos reportedly frightened the children at that daycare. And, while it may seem obvious why the images might disturb children, this story serves as a lesson in dental marketing even to adults.
Most dental ads are unwittingly designed by dentists FOR other dentists. Read that sentence again. The ads are designed by dentists. And, they appeal to other dentists. The photos in this ad are more appropriate for a case presentation article in a dental journal than they are for public viewing. More on that below.
I’m not saying retracted photos of partially edentulous smiles should never be used in marketing. There can be a time and place for images like this one.
Pull rather than push.
I’m a HUGE fan of using photography in dental marketing. I would NOT use this “before” image in “push” marketing efforts. By “push,” I mean marketing efforts that bring the product or service TO the prospects (whether they want it or not). Think of it as “in your face marketing” like a billboard, TV, radio, or print ad.
However, I think this “before” image could be used in “PULL” marketing. “Pull” marketing is when the prospective patient COMES TO YOU (and your marketing). An example would be your website, whereby the prospect lands via a Google search (perhaps for “dental implants your city”). A person who is actively seeking information about replacing her missing front teeth with dental implants may actually identify with the retracted edentulous image (within limits – don’t make it too gross!).
Get over it, ya bunch of wimps!
One one hand, I could argue that some people (including some whiny kids and parents) are just too sensitive, and if they don’t like it, they should just not look at it. Hell… the “before” smile looks like a lot of 1st and 2nd graders’ smiles!
On the other hand, I can tell you that my wife would also cringe at the sight of the billboard “before” photo. And, she’s probably not the only one. For a PUSH implant marketing piece, I’d use just the after photos. I’d use a nice portrait and a non-retracted close-up of the smile.
Here’s the news video:
Thoughts? Comments? Discuss below!